You send your child off to school with pens, pencils, gym kits, and calculators; like all adults, unfortunately you can’t give them a protective force-field (as much as you might like to), but what you can do is make sure that they are as safe as possible when they start a new school. Entering high school can be a daunting step from the relative security of elementary school.
To enhance their academic performance, your child has to be in an environment that they feel safe in. Prepare them for the difficulties they may face at school, including bullying. We’d all like to think that our kids will make friends easily and have a great time at school, free from name-calling and sometimes even physical abuse. Bullying, however, is a common reality for many children, and you may not notice.
At dinner, talk to your child about their day and ask if there are any problems at school. If you are suspicious, ask them in private if they are being bullied or if they are seeing anyone being bullied at school. This is easier if you pick up on the warning signs: an abnormal drop in grades, no apparent friends, physical bruises, and torn clothes.
Teach your child that violence is not the answer and that hurting others is bad. Earning a reputation as a bully at school is wrong, so encourage them to be compassionate to their fellow classmates and report any bullying at school to a teacher.
Check with their school that they are up to date with all the health and safety regulations, paying particular attention to things such as lab furniture and equipment, as the science rooms can be one of the most dangerous areas for your child.
Map out a safe route with your child to their bus stop. They’ll probably be nervous on their first day, so they will appreciate you going with them (although maybe not to the bus stop itself, as you’ll cramp their style)! Convince them to always take the pedestrian crossings and encourage them to make friends in the area to walk to the bus stop with. Just in case of emergency, if your kid doesn’t know their address and your number off-by-heart, get them to commit it to memory.
Always get your child to the bus stop early and advise them never to walk behind the bus. Buses are ideal places for bullying, so again, make sure that they are safe and happy on their journey. As their parent, you should also be a friend to them that they feel they can approach. If your child does not have a good relationship with you, it can compromise their safety.
Your child may know not to talk to strangers or get into cars with bad people, but in this age of technology they may be vulnerable to strangers online. Show them how easy it is to create a fake identity online and encourage them only to talk to people they know in real life on the internet.
This guest post was written by Francesca on behalf of www.innova-solutions.co.uk